Welcome to October. If you’re counting, that’s month seven of the ongoing pandemic in the United States. As the nation gears up for what promises to be a defining presidential election of the modern era and fall temperatures begin to cool the nation’s waters, it’s understandable to allow our collective focus to drift away from fishing. However, this month has one final swan song to the most bizarre fishing season in living memory. It may be the perfect remedy for a debate-weary fishing community—the ASA Sportfishing Summit.

In about two weeks, hundreds of red fish and blue fish from across the United States will gather virtually to take the pulse of our industry. In the process, breakout committees will meet to recommend future polices that can impact the way fisheries are funded, the way ICAST is scheduled, and even the kinds of tackle you’re allowed to sell in your store.

The Sportfishing Summit is serious business. C-level executives at fishing’s most influential brands will be on hand, as will representatives from state and federal wildlife agencies, major players in the theatre of conservation, and representatives from the most impactful tournament circuits as well. Typically, the Sportfishing Summit is held in a resort. Last year, attendees gathered at Skamania Lodge on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. This year, the event was set for Naples, Florida but has been moved online due to COVID-19. Regardless, if you’re interested in the inner workings of fishing, you should make time to attend.

Attendees are encouraged to sit-in on committee meetings, however participation is subject to the committee’s approval.

Here’s what’s on the agenda so far

  • Keynote Address from Chris Stirewalt, politics editors for Fox News Channel
  • State of the Industry address from ASA President Glenn Hughes and Board of Directors Chairman Jesse Simpkins
  • Legislative and policy overviews from ASA’s government affairs team
  • Saltwater and freshwater government affairs committee meetings
  • R3—recruiting, retention and reactivation—committee meeting
  • Retailer committee meeting, focusing on programs and actives specific to retailers
  • Sportfishing PAC meeting, the machinations of ASA’s political action committee
  • Trade & Consumer Shows Committee, the home of ICAST-related endeavors

The ASA Sportfishing Summit is scheduled for October 13-16. Interested parties can register for the ASA Sportfishing Summit here.